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Sustainable Electronic Waste Treatment and Recovery of Valuable Metals

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Waste and Recycling".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 26 August 2024 | Viewed by 145

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Institute of Recycling Technology, Faculty of Materials, Metallurgy and Recycling, Technical University of Košice, Letná 1/9 04 200 Kosice, Slovakia
Interests: sampling procedure for e-waste; recovery of critical metals from raw materials, with a focus on rare earths, lithium, cobalt, nickel, and copper; processing of unconventional earth resource metals; potential of environmental loads; the application of microwave energy in hydrometallurgy

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Guest Editor
Institute of Logistics and Transport, Faculty of Mining, Ecology, Process Control and Geotechnologies, Technical University of Košice, Park Komenského 14, 04 200 Kosice, Slovakia
Interests: research methods: quality logistics systems, strategic logistics, and reverse logistics; research on QMS, EMS, and logistics; sustainable development; municipal waste; circular economy; research and teaching in the area of statistics
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

At present, the circular economy is receiving considerable attention, not only from companies but also from government institutions. It is a sustainable concept that aims to help eliminate global warming while also making a profit in the long run.

Discarded electronic and electrical equipment (widely known as WEEE or e-waste), from washing machines and vacuum cleaners to smartphones and computers, contains potentially harmful materials that pollute the environment and increase the risks for people involved in recycling e-waste. E-waste is one of the fastest-growing waste streams, not only in the EU but globally.

It is important to support innovative activities related to the recycling of end-of-life products, such as e-waste. Collaboration between researchers on the innovative reuse of waste and by-products is crucial. It is necessary to invent technologies that allow the recycling of valuable metals from e-waste, such as old smartphones and batteries, to be used in new smartphones and lithium-ion batteries.

Pyrometallurgical e-waste processing processes are limited by the resulting hazardous emissions, such as dioxins, which are produced during smelting. Hydrometallurgical processes are a suitable alternative for increasing the purity of base metals (Cu, Ni, and Co, etc.) and obtaining noble metals (Au and Ag). A challenge for research can be the design of ecological recycling technologies for the recovery of Cu, Au, Ag, Co, and Li from electrical waste. The research can be based on the development of hydrometallurgical technologies involving processes such as leaching, solvent extraction, precipitation, electrowinning, etc. Sampling procedures from discarded smartphones, circuit boards, and batteries are crucial for processing.

The aim of this Special Issue is to publish original research articles in areas related to the development of new technologies for recycling e-waste in order to recover valuable metals or compounds in accordance with environmental requirements and the importance of sustainability. Contributions that use the methods of LCA assessment for comparing products such as smartphones or electromobiles and processes focused on environmental and economic aspects and impacts will also be greatly appreciated.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviews are welcome. Research areas may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Metal recovery;
  • Sustainable recycling of e-waste;
  • E-waste management;
  • Environmental recycling technologies
  • Sustainability development;
  • Circular economy;
  • Processing of unconventional earth resources;
  • Spent portable and car batteries;
  • Sampling procedures for e-waste;
  • LCA assessment;
  • Reverse logistics;
  • Modeling and simulation.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.

Dr. Martina Laubertova
Dr. Marcela Malindzakova
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • e-waste
  • metals recovery
  • circular economy
  • critical raw materials
  • smartphones
  • batteries
  • sustainable development

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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